City bans living in RVs; residents push back

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COAHOMA -- A city ordinance that’s been in place for five years is just now stirring up anger among residents in Coahoma.

The ordinance bans people from permanently living in Recreational Vehicles, or, RVs. But it’s the consequences the city is threatening RV-dwellers that has some residents up in arms.

Back in July, Rayford Stalcup received a letter in the mail from the City of Coahoma notifying him that he could no longer live in his RV, which, Stalcup says, he’s only temporarily living in as he builds a micro house on his property.

Additionally, Rayford says he was unpleasantly surprised to find the city even went as far as to shut off his water.

“I have medical issues that I'm supposed to have water. I'm 74-years-old and; I'd like to take a shower and have running water. It made me feel a little abused,” he said.

But the city tells CBS 7 News that the ordinance was put in place back in 2012 as a protection mechanism from an oil boom that was fixing to hit. As any West Texan knows, with oil booms comes a massive influx of people in a small amount of time.

“I know what this city used to be. It used to be a very friendly, very easy-going place, and people would work with you. These people have signs and all kinds of rules and regulations,” Stalcup said.

But Stalcup isn’t the only one up in arms. His neighbor, Mary Rutledge is facing a similar issue.

“There’s quite a few that’s in RVs out here,” she said.

Rutledge’s trailer home was damaged by recent storms, so she and her husband are temporarily staying in their RV as they repair their permanent home.

“What’s gonna hurt a standing RV? It’s very nice, as you’ve seen, it’s a very nice RV. It’s not a junk pile,” she said.

The city tells CBS 7 News that anyone who received a letter has 30 days to remedy the problem before they star being fined. In the letter Stalcup received, the city urges residents living in RVs to get a 90-day permit to temporarily stay in the vehicle. If not, they could be fined up to $2,000 dollars a day.

There will be a city meeting on August 17 at 7:30 pm at the Water Department. The city is asking all RV-dwellers to attend.